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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

Buy it now, or read it online on Safari Bookshelf.


openvt [options] [--] [command] [arguments]

Locate the first available virtual terminal (VT) and run command with any arguments given. If no command is specified, the shell $SHELL is started.



Indicates the end of openvt options. Required before the command name to pass options to the command.

-c vt

Use the specified VT number instead of the first available. You must have write access to vt.


Execute command without forking. For use in /etc/inittab, rather than on the command line.


Run the command as a login shell, prepending a dash (-) to the command name.


Switch to the new VT when the command is started and make it the current VT.


Determine the owner of the current VT, and log in as that user. You must be root to use this option, which is also suitable for calling by init. Don't use with -l.


Verbose mode.


Wait for the command to complete. If used with -s, switch back to the controlling terminal when the command is done.

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